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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Imagine, for instance, a repetition of eighteen holes, all of the supreme excellence of the most exceptional hole we can think of at the moment - the Seventeenth at St. Andrews. The strain of it all! Eighteen tee shots of the same intensity or eighteen approaches which courted disaster in the same dire form. It would to a certainty break our hearts and leave us nervous wrecks or golf lunatics in real earnest.  TOM SIMPSON




Midday Carnage Update

Andy North and Mike Tirico just had a good laugh about their 2:47 over-under bet on when no one would be left under par. Nick Dougherty fell to even par at 2:48! is working swimmingly today, with all the stats in full view including for the first time (I believe), we can see the dreaded "cost of rough" stat. Check out No. 9's cost of rough today and the GIR's on No. 12!




"Right now it's set up the way we want it."

2007usopen_50.gifAt midday Friday, it sure sounds like the announcers are sensing that conditions are teetering on the edge.

Chris Berman mentioned three times that the maintenance staff had a look in their eyes and made comments yesterday evening that implied they were going to ratcheted things up. He didn't seem to mention it with great admiration by the third time as scores were sky rocketing.

USGA Executive Director David Fay was called in at around 12:30 to talk about things.

"Just to clarify, the golf course conditions, the conditions irrespective of the wind, are back to where they were during the practice rounds. That's the setting."
He noted that everything maintenance wise is "done under tight controls."

"Right now it's set up the way we want it."

 Key words: right now.

Meanwhile one announcer thought all was okay.

Andy North: "It's definitely fair." "Terrific US Open golf."


Bandon, Subsidies and The Reservoir

subsidy_slide3.jpgDavid Cay Johnson pens a pair of New York Times Business section stories, one looking at government subsidies for real estate projects, private jet use and Bandon's airport expansion.

A second story considers the plight of Scott Cook, who will be impacted by a reservoir project that will provide more water for the town and future Bandon courses.


Trump National Fresno?

runn.jpgYes, that's how desperate The Donald is to get in bed with the PGA Tour.

Scott Hamilton talks to Trump about his possible interest in taking over the failed Running Horse project and securing a "Fall Finish" event.

“I build real large buildings and we’ve had some great success in golf,” Trump said. “But I don’t want to be a Club Corp – I just want to have great courses. . . . I’m only looking to do the really prestigious courses. I think we could make (Running Horse) that, but it’s still got a long way to go."


Thursday U.S. Open Clippings: They Finished!

2007usopen_50.gifI missed most of the afternoon but did get in front of a television to notice that the Mickelson-Scott-Furyk group wrapped up at 7:08 EST, a swift 5:32 after they teed off.

20070615pdusopen0614d_450.jpgHere is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac's game storyLawrence Donegan offers the UK angle.

Doug Ferguson (I think) looks at Tiger's solid opening round.

For stats, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review offers numbers from key players as well as the leaders in various categories after day 1, including some course stats.

And because aspires to provide as little substantial information as possible, we'll lean on Ed Patterman who is blogging at Golfobserver for some stats that are I can't seem to find on the official site. 

-- There were only two eagles all day - both of them HOLE OUTS on Par 4's (11 and 14).

-- After 156 Players had played the 477 yard par 4 9th hole, only 3 made birdie. More birdies (4) were made on the 288 par 3 hole.

-- Speaking of which, only 1 out of 3 players hit the 288 Yard Par 3 green in regulation. The stroke average on the hole was 3.539.

-- For the day, 55.9% of all greens were hit in regulation.

-- The field also hit 56.2% of all fairways.

-- The 18th Hole was the most difficult in relation to par, averaging 4.638 strokes.

-- The par 5 4th Hole was the easiest hole, averaging 4.974 strokes.

-- Only two of the Top Ten Players in driving distance are currently in the Top 100 in the tournament standings - Aaron Baddeley (24th) and Jason Dufner (7th),

Robert Dvorchak at the Post-Gazette offers this note...
While the USGA customarily uses yellow flags atop the pins at U.S. Opens, this week red flags adorn the pins. The reason?

Mike Davis, the USGA senior director of rules and competition went to the USGA and requested the change because red is the color Oakmont uses during everyday, regular play.

William Wolfrum noted the web troubles.'s Ken Klavon offers an utterly useless explanation about the web site crash, which means there's a juicy story behind it!
With deepest of regrets, we apologize for various site issues we experienced today. Without getting into great detail, the issues were completely out of our hands. It wouldn't be fair to point fingers and the like.
John Huggan helps us get to know Nick Dougherty better.

B.J. Lisko in the Salem News found the scribblers questioning of players to be uh, lacking. And you think I'm tough!
Tuesday’s press conferences which included Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Johnny Miller and a few others was another exercise in futility. What’s most remarkable about the conferences is how completely clueless and dumfounded the golf media truly is. There are a few exceptions — regulars like Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, and a few scattered writers for some of the larger golf publications — but the majority are no more than windbags that aren’t even in physical shape enough to walk the course. They sit in the media tent, watch the monitors, then ask third-grade level questions while the pros blankly stare back and try to come up with something resembling an answer to easily some of the dumbest inquiries ever uttered.
He goes on to share real questions and pose appropriately sarcastic answers.

The Irish Independent--that would be from the same country that gave us The K Club as a Ryder Cup venue--does not like the quirkiness of Oakmont's practice green/9th green. Surely there is another practice putting green on the property?
The practice putting green at Oakmont is not up to the standard one expects at a Major Championship.

An extension of Oakmont's ninth green, this practice area is simply inadequate, while crowds of players preparing for their tee times were an obvious distraction to many attempting to finish out the ninth hole yesterday.

Pádraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell were but three of many who had practicing players working a couple of yards behind them as they lined up their putts at nine yesterday.

The Dubliner missed his birdie attempt as did Els minutes later. Though neither made an issue of it, the situation was utterly surreal.

McDowell later complained that the practice green itself "is really disappointing. I have not been able to get any work done on it at all.

"There is not enough room there at the back of the ninth green to get a feel for these things."

And Simon Bruty's shot of Phil Mickelson pretty much sums up Lefty's day:




"For the first time she came across as a selfcentered, unapologetic brat."

Thanks to reader Mike for finding Dottie Pepper's SI Golf Plus column on Michelle Wie. I think it's safe to say that Dottie will not be hired as Wie's guidance counselor.

 Given a chance to apologize or at least justify the contradictions, Wie reacted defiantly. Instead of becoming the great player and professional that she has shown the potential to become, Michelle has shown disrespect (especially over the last two weeks) for the game and its traditions.

For the first time she came across as a selfcentered, unapologetic brat.

The LPGA could have handled the withdrawal better. Admitting that the tour needs Michelle and the attention she brings is no crime, but not being truthful about the initial conversations surrounding the WD was improper.

The LPGA is not the source of the problem, though. That, sadly, is the greed and short-sightedness of the two people closest to Michelle, the people charged with molding her into a complete, independent and responsible person: B.J. and her mother, Bo.

The Wies used to be open to the media and the golf world in general. Now they operate under a veil of secrecy and deception, even though they are surrounded by good people giving good advice, which they simply ignore.

The fact that it took four months to admit she had a broken left wrist (which happened when Michelle fell while jogging) should tell everyone that there is something horribly wrong with this picture. With multimillion-dollar contracts to consider, there's pressure on the Wies, both for Michelle to get back on the course and to preserve her playing privileges.

But what about the big picture? Kids trip and fall. So what? Sponsors understand that. Contracts can be adjusted. What can't be recovered so easily is a childhood that's not only been tarnished but also stolen.



First Round Comments

2007usopen_50.gifWell I'm heading out and will post later, but so far a pretty uneventful morning. Phil looks dicey to finish his round, which is a shame. Hopefully no one else will get hurt.

In the meantime, feel free to comment away on rounds or stories you see that would be of interest! 


Tiger A Pebble Beach Investor?

In Kenneth Weiss' story on the California Coastal Commission's rejection of the proposed Pebble Beach expansion, he writes:

Ueberroth and other company officials asserted that some development is needed to help Pebble Beach's 130 investors — including Tiger Woods — make a reasonable return, pay for upkeep on the peninsula's famed 17-Mile Drive and meet other expenses.

Is this well known? I don't recall reading this anywhere? 


Leaderboard Not Working?** ***

2007usopen_50.gifI've switched the left column link to's joint board with because the leaderboard has been working sporadically.  

**8:20 PST  Wow, the others were even worse. GolfChannel had Ogilvy through 8 holes when he had played 11, and had him through 3 at the same point.

Meanwhile seems to be working now. 

*** 8:25 - not working again.


Thursday's US Open Clippings: Hail Storm

2007usopen_50.gifAP's Nancy Armour (uh, any relation to Tommy?) reports on Wednesday evening's ugly thunderstorm.

Nearly a half-inch of rain fell during a Wednesday afternoon thunderstorm that also scattered tree limbs and twigs across fairways. But crews were out as soon as the rain stopped, and officials hope the course won't play significantly different Thursday.

Speed of the greens should be the same, said Tim Moraghan, the U.S. Golf Association's agronomist, but firmness could be affected.

"It's not going to be what we planned for," Moraghan said. "Things were moving along quite well (before the storm). We thought we'd have a true, hard test for players on Thursday. The rain has altered this a little bit.

"We're going to try and do everything we can to get the golf course back to where it was before this little rain."

Lorne Rubenstein loves that Oakmont does not try to hide from its neighbors and notes eloquently that the best places in golf embrace their surroundings.

You feel it as soon as you approach the club along Hulton Road, which winds along a slight slope past modest homes and a few lavish, older homes. But nothing shouts at the visitor who approaches Oakmont, which simply emerges out of the neighborhood, adjacent to the Presbyterian Senior Care home.


This feeling should be a part of the game everywhere. The Old Course in St. Andrews is often called the mother of all courses because of the influence it's had on design. It's not even a club as we think of a club on this side of the pond. It's a course, a public course, although most people know that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has its clubhouse there. The R&A is private, the course is public. It's the mother of the notion that golf is a welcoming game, not an exclusionary one. asks various inkslingers who they like to win the US Open. Plenty of Furyk, Goosen and Tiger picks. Oh and one Martin Laird from John Huggan. Looks like the heat's already gone to someone's head.

E. Michael Johnson takes a fascinating look at what players were using in 1994.

Consider that Ernie Els won that major using a Callaway Big Bertha War Bird driver about half the size of the driver he uses today.

Needless to say, golf equipment was a bit different back then.

At Oakmont that year, Phil Mickelson and Wayne Levi were considered cutting edge with their all-graphite Yonex drivers, as was Hale Irwin for using a set of oversize, cavity-back King Cobra irons. Of course, with 23 players still swinging persimmon drivers, anything remotely out of the ordinary was deemed "out there."

Grant Boone previews the U.S. Open in his own unique TMI-way, but eventually drops this beauty:

Marriage counseling is a lot like a U.S. Open. It has a way of laying you uncomfortably bare but leaving you with a much better idea of who the two of you are and what needs work. Not much fun but ultimately rewarding.

Ron Green Jr. blogs:

Interesting scene on the practice tee Wednesday – Vijay Singh warming up while talking to Chi Chi Rodriguez, who was wearing a black leather jacket despite temperatures in the low 80s.

And just think, he's wearing two hats too!

After hearing Walter Driver urge writers to go check out the tents for the USGA's new presenting sponsors,'s David Shefter remembered who might tamper with his paycheck, plugging blogging an item that will surely earn him a big thank you from USGA CMO Barry Hyde, but probably not a Lexus courtesy car:

I also stopped by the U.S. Open Experience presented by American Express. A very nice set-up with displays from future U.S. Open sites replete with memorabilia from the USGA Museum and videos of past events held at those clubs. You can even test your knowledge with an interactive Rules quiz, and check out a my leaderboard handheld PDA device that keeps you up-to-date with scores during the championship. You can even sign up to become a USGA Member.

According to our USGA folks, more than 11,000 people had gone through the tent over the first two practice-round days. You can only expect those numbers to go way up over the next four days.

Right next door is the Lexus tent, where spectators can pose with a replica of the U.S. Open trophy. Hey, if you can't win the U.S. Open, at least make it look you did. Needless to say, there was a healthy line for that exhibit.

And finally, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jerry Micco needs to remember that Google is his friend, blogging this:

What was really cool was I walked up the fairway of No. 9, the majestic front-side finishing hole here. It's fairly steep uphill for about 100 yards, then gradually inclines to the large square green. It's neat to walk up over the first hill and see the clubhouse, in its classic green and white, come into view. I can imagine what it will be like for players here tomorrow to do that. Author John Feinstein (channeling Mark Twain) called it "A Great Walk Spoiled." That's often correct.

Uh, not in this case.  


"This field is not really ready for Oakmont."

Candid remarks from Arnold Palmer Wednesday at Oakmont:

I've been talking to some of the guys that have been out there and I've talked to some of the former champions that have been out there on the golf course. And they tell me that this field -- and this is just an observation, that this field is not really ready for Oakmont. I say "the field" and I'm generalizing. I think probably what they were telling me is that they haven't really learned yet how to play Oakmont. And they may do that in the next couple days.
And an update on the new museum at Far Hills...for Arnold: 

RAND JERRIS: I want to ask you if you could share some thoughts with us about a project that's important to me and I hope important to you as well, which is the Arnold Palmer Center For Golf History which we're building in Far Hills, and it will be open about a year from now.

ARNOLD PALMER: I think some of you know, maybe you don't know that the U.S. Open has started construction on the Arnold Palmer Museum For Golf History and Memorabilia. It will be opening in June of '08?

RAND JERRIS: Yes, sir.


Coastal Commission Rejects Pebble Beach Expansion

From AP...


U.S. Open Photo Caption Fun, Vol. 1

I've been searching for anything fun but apparently the photographers are saving their energy for the expected weekend heat. Therefore, courtesy of, because he's easy...



Phil: "This golf course is a physical hazard to the players. I don't think that that has been very well thought out."

2007usopen_50.gifAnother excellent edition of Golf Channel's Pre-Game U.S. Open coverage featured the usual gang (Kann, Pepper, Nobilo, Oosterhuis, Lerner) stepping up to the plate with fresh insights into the field and course, with colorful (literally) reports from Marty Hackel and a fun look inside the Pirates' ballpark.

But it was all highlighted by the Steve Sands interview with an obviously perturbed Phil Mickelson.

One comment from Phil was notable for its honesty and accuracy, the other just a sign of these wacky times. 

Sands: You nervous at all...about the wrist?

Mickelson: I'm uncertain whether or not it's going to hold up on some of the shots out of the rough. It's been hurt in this rough before. Yesterday, 5, 6 people got hurt that Jim Weathers had to go work on. I think this golf course is a physical hazard to the players. I don't think that that has been very well thought out. So I think every player should be concerned--not just me--when they hit a shot in the rough.

I know I've shared my bias on this as someone who had a wrist injury and as someone who finds it pitiful that rough is harvested like a crop so grown men can compensate for some mysteriously vacant portion of their golfing soul that believes this torture rewards skill, but isn't there something seriously wrong with the game when antics like rough-on-steroids could impact our national championship and potential damage the well-being of a player and his career?

Anyway, here's the part where the modern player mentality of having consistent greens throughout the course is a bit hard for me to relate to. Continuing on after his comments about the rough...

Mickelson: This has forced me to prepare on the greens. Pelz and I have been out here on the greens this weekend, I feel like I have a good concept of how the putts break but also the speeds. You know the speeds have fluctuated tremendously from green to green. And I know they're doing the best, but they do the same thing to each green. They cut it the same height, roll it the same for every green. Well that's just ridiculous because you have greens that are high that are more exposed and  get more wind and greens that are low that get a lot more moisture, so the fluctuation in the greens have been up to four and half feet from the fastest to the slowest. And so I think guys are going to struggle and I think that on the greens I may have an advantage knowing what the actual green speed is.

I guess this is where I would say to Phil that you knowing the varying speeds of each green is a cool thing and that attempts to make speeds uniform would be more contrived than what's out there now.  


USGA Press Conference: Getting That Lexus Pavilion Plug In!

In Jon Show's Sports Business Journal story on the USGA's deals with Lexus and AmEx, he writes:

In addition to Miller¹s activities, Lexus is offering a swing simulator at its vehicle display tent that lets fans take shots on a computer-generated Oakmont course. Any fan hitting a hole-in-one will win a new Lexus LS 600h L. Visitors to the tent can also have their photo taken with a full-sized replica of the U.S. Open trophy that will be posted to, a site being created by Lexus for the feature.
So naturally, the USGA President's press conference had to include a pseudo plug for the new sponsor's pavillion.
If you haven't been there, I would urge each of you to go across the Turnpike and go up to the main entrance and see all of that and the things that are available for the spectators as they come in. They can have their picture taken with a replica of the U.S. Open trophy. I understand there were 6,000 people in line to do that yesterday. So you might want to time your visit at some low point in the crowd, but I'm not sure when that is going to be.
Synergy baby. Brand those platforms. Or is that platforming the brand? Or synergized cross-pollination? Eh, anyway... 

Q. This is for Walter and/or David. Johnny Miller came in yesterday and said he thought that this was the -- I think he said, "Greatest golf course in the world right now." I'm interested in your reaction to that, and do you agree with that? I know you have other courses in your rotation.

WALTER DRIVER: I was told when I took this job that saying anything negative about any golf course was like insulting someone's spouse, and you better not do that.

So I think this is a great golf course. As to comparing it to other golf courses. I'm not going to go there, but this is one of the great golf courses in the United States without any question.

DAVID FAY: By the way, the first person to make that comment about insulting one's spouse, Charles Blair McDonald. I've got to get that plug in.

Yeah, right. Sigh.

Well, we'll let this one slide. He didn't say anything about spouses, but it was the thought that counted. 



USGA Press Conference: What They Asked Bud Selig

2007usopen_50.gifThat's right, the inaccessible Bud Selig stopped in the US Open press center after the USGA press conference and here's what the assembled scribes peppered him with:

You must be so happy with the resurgence of the Milwaukee Brewers. Even though you are no longer their owner, how much of their great play do you believe is attributable to your wonderful leadership over the years? 

Have you had much of a negative reaction from fans about taking the 2008 All-Star Game to Yankee Stadium?

As a follow up, have you seen the plans for the new Yankee Stadium? We had Joe Torre in here earlier and he says it's going to be the best in America. Would you agree?

Joe also said the World Series is the one that most players really want to play in and win. What do you think of that assessment?

You must be excited about Barry Bonds and his chase of Hank Aaron's record? Will it be televised?

Okay, enough. You get the point. There's a USGA cover story in Golf World, injuries to two top players induced by course conditions, major questions about square grooves and USGA operations, even more major questions about next year's venue and the scribblers are asking David Fay, Walter Driver and Jim Hyler if they agree with new Lexus pitchman Johnny Miller about the brilliance of Oakmont?  

Mighty, might impressive! 


U.S.G.A. Press Conference: The Questions

Just consider the brainpower necessary to pose such thoughtful, creative and compelling questions!

 Q. I know you don't have a target score, but do you ever intentionally try to make a venue more difficult because scoring was very good, for instance, 2003 at Olympia, the last run of Opens have been more difficult; and any reaction to that?
 Q. Jim, when you set up a course for the U.S. Open, how much are you endeavoring to test the intangibles, poise, patience, maturity in addition to skill?

 Q. You mentioned the renovations, all of the trees that were taken away; one addition from '94 is the new bridge. Just your thoughts on the USGA's impact on that bridge and making it a better golf course for the gallery.

 Q. Wonder if anybody up there could respond to the idea of what reaction you're getting from players thus far, and how does the USGA define the difference between rigorous and sadistic? (Laughter)


 Q. This is for Walter and/or David. Johnny Miller came in yesterday and said he thought that this was the -- I think he said, "Greatest golf course in the world right now." I'm interested in your reaction to that, and do you agree with that? I know you have other courses in your rotation.

 Q. Maybe my question will follow-up on that. Yesterday we heard players and Johnny Miller talk about, this is the greatest golf course, this is the hardest golf course we've ever seen. My question is, what's the correlation between something has to be the hardest golf course to be the best golf course for your purposes or can it be something less than that?

You're asking the chairman emeritus of the Rees Jones Fan Club this question?

 Q. Another thing that Johnny Miller said yesterday was he's hearing more and more players talk about how this is a tournament they love to win but sometimes hate to play and there have been some examples in the past eight years or so of events that did get across the line a little bit in certain places. Do you think this is an important week for you guys with the weather, the course conditions to prove that you can walk that fine line between fair and unfair?

 Q. Wonder, did the USGA get involved at all in any decision making on the trees and the tree removal; were you consulted, were you happy with the course in '94 the way it was?

And that helps us how? 


C.B. Mac Is In!

This is long overdue...

Charles Blair Macdonald to Enter World Golf Hall of Fame

Oakmont, Penn. (June 13, 2007) –  Charles Blair Macdonald, instrumental in the founding of the United States Golf Association and credited with building the first 18-hole golf course in the United States, will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Nov. 12 as part of the 2007 Class of Inductees.   

“Charles Blair Macdonald is recognized today as the Father of Organized Golf in the United States,” said David Fay, Executive Director of the United States Golf Association and Member of the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors. “Without Macdonald, the USGA would not have been created. And without his leadership and strong character, the game in this country could easily have gone astray. As a player, administrator, architect, rule maker, and chronicler of the game’s history, he was one of golf’s true giants.”


"There's a chance somebody with the USGA will take a look at it"

img10223160.jpgSteve Elling on Phil's wrist injury, with an interesting take on the support device he's wearing:

Mickelson received a cortisone shot last week, has been trying muscle massage, rehab therapy and various forms of stimulation to increase blood flow to the affected area, and is traveling with a shaman of sorts, former Green Beret Jim Weathers, whose business card lists him as "motivational speaker, shiatsu master and reflexologist."

The wrist is so iffy that doctors ordered Mickelson not to practice, sign autographs or participate in any "strenuous workouts." (Note to Tiger Woods fans: Insert punchline here).

Facts are, the Open isn't a place you come when you are nursing a hand injury -- it's a place you leave with one. Witness Woods at Shinnecock in 1995, when he hit a ball into the high rough, tweaked a wrist while hacking out of the hay, and had to withdraw.

Mickelson might face another uncomfortable hurdle, as in whether the wrist wrap is copacetic in the eyes of the golf rulebook. USGA rules official John Morrissett said Tuesday that he had not inspected the wrap Lefty is wearing, but said it appeared to be made of an "Ace bandage material with no rigid parts." Players are prohibited from using swing-aids and devices designed to restrict wrist movement.

The bandage covers part of Mickelson's left thumb, the back of his hand and encircles his entire wrist. Clearly, taping the wrist is intended to keep Mickelson from further straining the injury and any swing benefit would not be his directed intent. Mickelson joked there could be a crossover effect.

"I would say this will help me keep it one shot at a time, and this brace will help me alleviate any extra wrist break at the top of the swing that I may have," he said.

Then Mickelson turned to a nearby USGA media official and cracked, "Is it OK if I use this (bandage) now that I said that?"

Let's not dismiss it with a flip of the wrist. Morrissett said the bandage "doesn't appear to inhibit movement in the wrist," though it will likely restrict and support it to some degree. Otherwise, why wear it at all? Mickelson even indicated he would tighten the bandage before hitting shots.

"There's a chance somebody with the USGA will take a look at it," Morrissett said.

Okay rules aficionados, what do you think? 


"The ball just keeps rolling and rolling."

Thanks to reader Kevin for this Robert Dvorchak story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looking at the history of the Stimpmeter.

This beautifully sums up Oakmont's greens:

On six of the 18 greens, the surfaces aren't flat enough to get a Stimpmeter reading. The ball just keeps rolling and rolling. So the numbers from the 12 flatter greens are used for the course average.